Being an efficient graphic artist is dependent on making the most of your time. Being able to use shortcuts in my workflow help me to be able to focus on the art. It is the little things that save me time that helped me to feel like an artist again and not just a production machine.
Today I am going to show you how to set-up a “Character Style” and use Style Sheets in QuarkXpress 7.5, although there have been some minor changes in the past 3+ versions of QuarkXpress the basics remain the same. So whether you are still using Quark 4.3 or are using the most current version, this how to should help you. There is a short video on how to set up a Style Sheet in QuarkXpress 7.5 at the bottom of the post.
First: Where do I find my Style Sheets palette? It is usually paired with your color palette. If you do not see it, or turned it off years ago because it was taking up space, there are several ways to turn it back on. You can use “F11” or go up to your “Window” menu and find “Style Sheets”. It should be the fourth item in the second section of the list in the drop down menu. There is the possibility that you have this palette collapsed, in this case you will just see the words “Style Sheet” in a gray bar above your color palette. To expand this menu just click the triangle to the left of the word “Style Sheet” and you palette will expand and should look like this:
Here is what yours may look like… It is blank and intimidating. Well, not as much as you might think. Let me take a minute to explain to you what the Style Sheet palette does.
The Style Sheet gives you the ability to create preset font styles for text in QuarkXpress. For example, if you have an agent that likes to have a specific font for lead-ins, banners, prices, webpage URLs or any text in their ad you can create a “Style” for that and even a keyboard shortcut. Here is an example of a Style that I use in an ad for a specific realtor… You will notice that “lead-in” text is white on a blue banner. It is also in a different font than the rest of the listing. This agent has nine to twelve listings per page each issue, the task became so tedious I wanted to cut my hands off and become a mime. So I decided to set-up a Style for this text with a simple keyboard shortcut. So now, similar to using a keyboard shortcut to bold a selection of text (command + B), I can now bold, change font and color with a similar shortcut. It took me about three minutes to set-up and saves me thirty seconds per listing every issue. So after the first issues I has already regained he time I lost doing the initial set-up.
Here is video of how to set up a new Style for your Style Sheet. One problem I ran into was that I couldn’t setup the shortcut wile I was recording. Normally you just click in the second box at the top “Keyboard Equivalent” and then press your selected shortcut, being sure not to use a shortcut that is already in use. I find that if I use three keys with the first two being command & option and then a number from the keypad it is safe.
Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas for different tips & trick you would like to see.
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